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  1. #1

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    Default Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Hey! As an advanced trombonist doubling alto who has gotten OK at playing sax, does the type of ligature matter?
    Gaston

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    No. As long as it seals the reed against the mouthpiece, the type of lig does not matter.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Thank you very much! Greatly appreciated. Also please excuse my noobness.
    Gaston

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    It affects response.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Differences between ligatures are often subtle. Here is a link to one of my favorite youtube videos that does a great job of making this point.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ghMCiV8hTg

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    I anticipate this being a long-lived and entertaining forum thread.

    JL

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Yes - Try a few different ligatures and you'll start to get a sense of the tone/response/feel difference.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Yes it does, quite a lot. I'd love to use Rovner ligs, but I can't because they're just too dark. Metal is the only thing that works for me.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
    Yes it does, quite a lot. I'd love to use Rovner ligs, but I can't because they're just too dark. Metal is the only thing that works for me.
    agree, except i've have gone from metal to Rovner. (i know Peter Ponzol used to ship his pieces with them.)

    i also like that they soak up a little moisture, which i find useful when playing a synthetic reed.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    If the table is flat, and the reed is not warped and the ligature is working properly, it makes no difference at all.

    Change any of those parameters and there can be some differences.

    So the answer is no and yes.
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    For me, Rovner dark is indeed dark, no matter what. No issues with table, reed or lig at all. I know how to turn one screw. Enough of a difference that Rovner is unusable.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Yes, it can, and does. I've got hundreds and hundreds of experiences that have demonstrated it. maybe the most compelling was a client who played 3 different Silverstein ligatures on his soprano piece in my shop. Same horn, same reed, same mouthpiece, same player. The three ligs were the same design but made with different metals (?) (silver, gold, and another I don't recall). The differences in sound were stunning actually.

    Prove it to yourself, even with your own ligature: change the position of the lig on the mouthpiece ( a little more forward, a little more back). Just that subtle difference in where the same lig contacts the reed and exerts its pressure will create changes in the sound).

    So, different ligature designs contact the reed differently and exert pressure in different places on the reed. They also exert pressure ( dampening?) on the mouthpiece in different ways and in different places.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    i can put a selmer 2 screw lig and a one screw lig on the same mouthpiece with the same reed and it's easier to play the palm keys with the two screw lig. It does make a difference but in the end you have to just stick with something and stop worrying about it.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    If the table is flat, and the reed is not warped and the ligature is working properly, it makes no difference at all.
    For all practical intents and purposes, the thread could (should?) end with Pete's response right here, or even with the first response in the thread by warp x.

    Especially for someone just getting started on the sax. There are so many FAR, FAR more important issues to deal with, whether equipment-related or, especially, music and technique-related, that you'd do well not to get bogged down with ligatures, once you have one that fits properly and holds the reed firmly to the table of the mpc.

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    The thread title asked a question, and a reasonable question.
    I don't recall anybody posting that it is important or most important or anything to that effect.

    In responding to the title of the thread (does what ligature you use affect tone?), there were some different opinions.
    In response to the OP, as written, I don't recall anybody saying that "it matters".

    I found all the responses to be useful, actually

    Seems to me there are two parallel conversations that developed because there were two different questions out there ( differences in tone,and, does it matter).

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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Giardullo View Post
    Seems to me there are two parallel conversations that developed because there were two different questions out there ( differences in tone,and, does it matter).
    Good point. The question in the title does differ from the question in the OP. This happens a lot on here. Maybe it's splitting hairs, but I agree with you they are quite different questions, though related.

    My, admittedly opinionated and based on my own experience, answers to each would be:

    Difference in tone? Highly unlikely; I guess that's a 'no.'

    Does the type of ligature matter? Yes; proper fit matters, the lig shouldn't slip once it's been tightened, and to some extent, ease of use matters (some prefer one screw vs two, etc).

  17. #17
    Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contributor 2007-2010 EZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    In my experience, when the mouthpiece table is confirmed to be flat and the reed has also been resurfaced to be flat, I have not found a difference when switching between different types of ligatures.

    Some ligatures apply more pressure to the reed (or apply it differently) than others, so it can be anticipated that in the event that the mpc/reed interface is not flat that the ligature could make a difference.
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    +1
    Quote Originally Posted by EZ View Post
    In my experience, when the mouthpiece table is confirmed to be flat and the reed has also been resurfaced to be flat, I have not found a difference when switching between different types of ligatures.

    Some ligatures apply more pressure to the reed (or apply it differently) than others, so it can be anticipated that in the event that the mpc/reed interface is not flat that the ligature could make a difference.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Quote Originally Posted by EZ View Post
    In my experience, when the mouthpiece table is confirmed to be flat and the reed has also been resurfaced to be flat, I have not found a difference when switching between different types of ligatures.

    Some ligatures apply more pressure to the reed (or apply it differently) than others, so it can be anticipated that in the event that the mpc/reed interface is not flat that the ligature could make a difference.


    I'm thinking that the "specific" pressure ( where and what direction, etc.) has an effect. I say that because I hear major differences in tone.
    The lig doesn't make the sound, nor does the piece: it's the reed.And anything that impacts the reed impacts the tone, in my opinion.

    If firmer pressure or pressure that affects the core of the reed more or less than the edges of the reed ( or the opposite, etc) is applied, why wouldn't the reed vibrate differently ?
    And that is , in my opinion, a contributor to how a reed might sound.

    Anyone?

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member Woody Reed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does What Ligature You Use Affect Tone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
    It affects response.
    Yes sir! I'll add that response will effect the embouchure, which in tern will effect the sound. So whether you'd consider the ligature affecting the sound or the embouchure effecting (effecting as in emotional) the sound might be semantics and as confusing as the use of the words affect and effect.

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